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Guess Who
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(05-16-2017, 07:01 PM)
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The drive to be on the bleeding edge of technology powers the PC gaming community. We want nothing more than to run our ridiculously powerful rigs on barely stable beta drivers, with our CPUs overclocked to speeds that are neither advisable nor guaranteed to be safe for our systems.

It’s a good match for the ship-first-iterate-later approach of major Silicon Valley companies who want to expand at all costs and don’t care what it takes.

But companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Fiverr and the others are starting to feel the risk of that edge. The world is finally realizing that a hands-off, profit-first, tax-dodging “connection and services platform,” powered by the cheap labor of people who aren't technically employees and have no rights isn't exactly a good idea. In fact, it may be a very bad one. Whether this means government regulators finally getting their act together, unions winning court cases or citizens voting them out of town, these companies are starting to feel the downside of moving fast and breaking things.

If you were to ask the average PC gamer, they’d swear up and down that there’s no way they’d ever give their money to such a corporation. They’d not only be caught dead before helping a company like that come to power, they might even join the resistance to stop them.

And yet, that sort of operation is exactly what the PC gaming community has been supporting, promoting and defending since 2004 when Valve more or less forced us to install Steam by bundling it with Half-Life 2.

Full article at https://www.polygon.com/2017/5/16/15...in-destructive

Refund me if old.
LKSmash
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:03 PM)
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Who's not going to be my friend next week, Polygon? You?
BrunoLouviers
Junior Member
(05-16-2017, 07:03 PM)
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Well, every monopoly is bad, I guess.
JayEH
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:04 PM)
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No corporation is your friend.
Human Trashcan
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:04 PM)
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I was considering making a thread on this as I just read this but I'm glad I didn't have to.

The part that upsets me most is how workshop content creators get completely screwed.

“It's impossible for artists to live on the workshop alone anymore, something which Valve used to repeatedly brag about,” explained one prominent Workshop artist to me in an interview for this piece. Valve has just recently slashed royalties for Dota 2 creators to almost nothing, right on the eve of the next massive International tournament. According to this artist’s estimate, their share has gone down from 25 percent to more like to five percent or seven percent, and communication from Valve has been unclear or flat-out non-existent.

Highly recommend reading the whole piece.
Rösti
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(05-16-2017, 07:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by JayEH

No corporation is your friend.

That's a bingo.
Succinct Verbosity
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:05 PM)
Valve aren't what they once were, but I certainly don't think are harming gaming insofar as games themselves are concerned, but the actual steam platform feels archaic these days next to Origin. Overall sales discussion aside, it is crazy how hard it is just to fibd games on sale anymore.
Interfectum
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:05 PM)
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I would definitely say that Valve is one of the most insidious game companies out there right now.
Mesoian
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:05 PM)
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Originally Posted by JayEH

No corporation is your friend.

Not until we enter our inevitable "Syndicate" future, where they need us. For the bodies.

The real point here is, none of the video game retailers, digital or otherwise, are our friends.
Rats Off To Ya
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:05 PM)
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At any point does the article justify the comparison to Uber, et al? Seems like a ridiculous stretch, and I don't want to click Polygon's Hot Take Of The Day to find out.
Last edited by Rats Off To Ya; 05-16-2017 at 07:07 PM.
Ahasverus
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(05-16-2017, 07:05 PM)
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The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.
ElBoxyBrown
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(05-16-2017, 07:05 PM)
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I am your friend.

Originally Posted by Ahasverus

The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.

That's still not good. Valve does not have incentives to ever improve.
Yukinari
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by JayEH

No corporation is your friend.

I wish people in threads for their favorite companies would grasp this but alas.
dave is ok
Banned
(05-16-2017, 07:06 PM)
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Valve doesn't have to answer to shareholders, so by default they are better than their competitors in the digital PC game seller market.
Succinct Verbosity
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:06 PM)

Originally Posted by Ahasverus

The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.

Origin is pretty good as a platform.
Kilau
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(05-16-2017, 07:07 PM)
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We want nothing more than to run our ridiculously powerful rigs on barely stable beta drivers, with our CPUs overclocked to speeds that are neither advisable nor guaranteed to be safe for our systems.

What? No.
Interfectum
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(05-16-2017, 07:07 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ahasverus

The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.

GOG? Blizzard?
TC McQueen
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:07 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ahasverus

The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.

Don't forget GOG.
dsk1210
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(05-16-2017, 07:08 PM)
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What an ridiculous article.
The Exploder
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(05-16-2017, 07:08 PM)
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And yet, that sort of operation is exactly what the PC gaming community has been supporting, promoting and defending since 2004 when Valve more or less forced us to install Steam by bundling it with Half-Life 2.


lololol I remember when Valve busted through my front door and held me at gunpoint while I played Half-Life 2.
Human Trashcan
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(05-16-2017, 07:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rats Off To Ya

At any point does the article justify the comparison to Uber, et al? Seems like a ridiculous stretch, and I don't want to click Polygon's Hot Take Of The Day to find out.

They are exploiting their workshop creators and take pretty much as little responsibility as they can all around, so yes
EvilKatarn
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(05-16-2017, 07:09 PM)
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I would be more ok with Valve's apparent monopoly over the PC market if some of their mad money went into developing video games instead of some nebulous project we never hear about and Dota 2.

Originally Posted by m_dorian

I am not going to click but tell me, is it Ben Kuchera?

Surprisingly not.
m_dorian
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(05-16-2017, 07:09 PM)
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I am not going to click but tell me, is it Ben Kuchera?
NoblesseOblige
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(05-16-2017, 07:09 PM)
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I've never liked Valve and think Steam is outdated in many ways but I'm a sucker and want all my games in one place so here I am buying almost exclusively from them.

Originally Posted by m_dorian

I am not going to click but tell me, is it Ben Kuchera?

Why do you care if you're not going to go to it?
Last edited by NoblesseOblige; 05-16-2017 at 07:12 PM.
Interfectum
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(05-16-2017, 07:09 PM)
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Originally Posted by NoblesseOblige

I've never liked Valve and think Steam is outdated in many ways but I'm a sucker and want all my games in one place so here I am buying almost exclusively from them.

They are all in one place, your PC.
tomhan
Junior Member
(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by dave is ok

Valve doesn't have to answer to shareholders, so by default they are better than their competitors in the digital PC game seller market.

That's not true at all. Valve is a for profit corporation that is trying to make as much profit as possible. The fact that they don't answer to shareholders makes them have to publicly disclose much less than companies with shareholders and that may actually make them more dangerous.
Resident_UA
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(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
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Even when I agree with Polygon i can't force myself to read their articles... Why do they still exist?
thefil
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(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
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Maybe it's just my perception, but I feel like the monopoly is at least weaker today than it was 5 years ago. GOG seems to be bigger, itch.io is bigger, people use Origin...

I agree that the "Steam or bust" situation is bad.
joeblow
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(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
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I have infinitely more trust in Valve/Steam than I do in Polygon.
NoctisVsStar
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
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Well anybody in the business of making money is not your friend ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
jrh2
Banned
(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
It's absolutely ridiculous that they don't hire more support staff given the size of their platform, and that their solution to many problems essentially boils down to unpaid volunteers billed as a "community" of gamers.

It's really unfortunate that even with all their downfalls they offer the best platform for PC gaming right now. And don't get me wrong, they actually do some good stuff like VR experiments. But most of that good stuff they can only do because of the ludicrous profits they make when they could be using that money to make their actual service better. They will continue to grow their monopoly without improving if people don't hold them accountable for the bullshit moves they make.
StereoVsn
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(05-16-2017, 07:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by Succinct Verbosity

Origin is pretty good as a platform.

It's certainly much better then it was but I think Steam is a lot more lax in both allowing developers onto the platform and in letting them generate keys. Both of those are key to Steam's growth and its benefit to consumers.

Still, Origin isn't bad but no workshop at all on there, for example, and a lot less community features.
Ploid 3.0
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(05-16-2017, 07:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ahasverus

The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.

I have 0 problems with Origin. I'm still new on Uplay but I heard they had some issues in the past. Origin is solid though, the application is very light and snappy vs steam.

Origin's customer service also crushes Steam in my experience. None of my experiences with steam customer service even got a reply from them. I just ended up never putting money in my steam wallet from my last one. If I buy stuff on steam I go through Amazon, or whatever else I can get (steam cards, or other ways of buying steam only games like GMG).
Last edited by Ploid 3.0; 05-16-2017 at 07:14 PM.
Guess Who
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(05-16-2017, 07:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rats Off To Ya

At any point does the article justify the comparison to Uber, et al? Seems like a ridiculous stretch, and I don't want to click Polygon's Hot Take Of The Day to find out.

I'd say their section on the treatment of Steam Workshop contributors does, yes:

Back in 2011, Good Guy Valve tore up the playbook again, showing us once and for all that they weren't an uncaring corporation — in fact they wanted nothing more than to open up their Steam Workshop and let us play around in their magical worlds of Dota 2, Team Fortress 2 and, later, Counter-Strike GO.

And you can earn real money from it, they told us! Buy these items, and the 3D artists who made them will get 25 percent of the profits. We're all in this together!

Talented 3D artists surged out of the woodwork, and the airwaves were saturated with feel-good stories of creators making very decent, livable wages off the sales of Demoman swords, machine gun skins and wacky couriers.

Valve themselves eagerly trumpeted that they had paid more than $57 million to Steam Workshop creators over four years — an enormously impressive figure until you realize that it's only 25 percent of the sale price, which means Valve just made $171 million profit from ... setting up an online form where you can submit finished 3D models.

As far as Valve is concerned, it's a fantastic arrangement: You do all the hard work for free, knowing that you might never be paid, but hoping you will at some point. This is called “speculative work” in the industry and it's hugely frowned upon as exploitative and unjust.

Valve sells your work to other people, and they take the overwhelming majority of the money from each transaction. Everyone's a winner ... but Valve, whose running costs for the store are essentially zero, and who have just tricked you into joining their content farm, is the biggest winner. You’re putting up your time and effort, and those have a very real cost for you. Valve has lost nothing other than the sunk cost of the employee time spent maintaining the store, while gaining a lot of revenue.

The agreement itself states that you have no specific right to any payment, outside of the ability to upload the item.

“Except where otherwise provided in App-Specific Terms, you agree that Valve’s consideration of your Workshop Contribution is your full compensation, and you are not entitled to any other rights or compensation in connection with the rights granted to Valve and to other Subscribers,” the agreement states. The specific Workshop agreement also forces you to keep the sales data itself confidential. Want to tell someone how well your items are selling? Too bad.

“It's impossible for artists to live on the workshop alone anymore, something which Valve used to repeatedly brag about,” explained one prominent Workshop artist to me in an interview for this piece. Valve has just recently slashed royalties for Dota 2 creators to almost nothing, right on the eve of the next massive International tournament. According to this artist’s estimate, their share has gone down from 25 percent to more like to five percent or seven percent, and communication from Valve has been unclear or flat-out non-existent.

Lumination
'enry 'ollins
(05-16-2017, 07:11 PM)
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I think GoG is slowly becoming a great Steam competitor. It offers cloud saves (not for all old games) and matchmaking with Steam players. If given the choice, I'd prefer GoG since its all DRM-free but with a client wrapper so I don't lose the Steam functions I typically take advantage of.
Inferno313
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(05-16-2017, 07:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ahasverus

The alternatives are Origin, Microsoft and Uplay.

Steam is the best Monopoly we could wish for given the other actors.

Gog? Humble?
josecitoxnyo
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:12 PM)
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Freaking finally someone writes an article about this.
PositronicMan
Junior Member
(05-16-2017, 07:12 PM)
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Corporations aren't your friend, and neither are "journalism" sites driven by click-bait practices.
PedroLumpy
Member
(05-16-2017, 07:12 PM)
I agree that we're not friends with Steam, but as a consumer I've benefited massively from Steams/Valve's influence. Not friends, but a mutually beneficial relationship. Article seems a tad dramatic.
Imbarkus
As Sartre noted in his contemplation on Hell in No Exit, the true horror is other members.
(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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If they had 70% market share 8 years ago, where are they now?
Marcel
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(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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I'd prefer if GOG had a little bit more muscle so they would basically force Steam to have to improve but it is what it is.
Last edited by Marcel; 05-16-2017 at 07:15 PM.
chrominance
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(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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It's a bit heavy on the "what do you think of your old friend Good Guy Valve now, huh? HUH? HUH?" but the article raises some interesting points. I still don't think I'd put Valve in the same category as Uber, but it's been pretty obvious to a lot of people that Steam's near-monopoly status is problematic and has been for some time.
NoblesseOblige
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(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by Interfectum

They are all in one place, your PC.

I'm not sure what you mean. I ain't going to install thousands of games at once.
ashecitism
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(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by m_dorian

I am not going to click but tell me, is it Ben Kuchera?

No, but he recently wrote a piece about them how people shouldn't judge them by traditional metrics: Yes, Valve is still making games.
Manzoon
Junior Member
(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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It's like that author just found out companies like good PR and profits.
trailmix16
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(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rats Off To Ya

At any point does the article justify the comparison to Uber, et al? Seems like a ridiculous stretch, and I don't want to click Polygon's Hot Take Of The Day to find out.

yes it does
Conan-san
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(05-16-2017, 07:13 PM)
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This article bothers me on it's anti-futurism platform alone.
Last edited by Conan-san; 05-16-2017 at 07:16 PM.
tenderbrew
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(05-16-2017, 07:14 PM)
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I'll decide that for myself thanks Polygon.
TheExodu5
(05-16-2017, 07:14 PM)
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Their treatment of workshop content creators is horrendous.

However, I am curious about one thing. The article states that Valve's only cost is maintaining the store front and model submissiom system, but is that actually the case? Isn't there still a significant amount of work involed in integrating the models into the game?
orava
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(05-16-2017, 07:14 PM)
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We listening polygon now? I though it was pretty much banned as a source here.

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